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Offshoring and Employment

Trends and Impacts

image of Offshoring and Employment

Offshoring—the transfer of an industrial activity abroad—has become a fact of life for business. But it is also perceived as a threat by a large segment of the general public. And much of the public concern centers on employment, especially the potential loss of domestic jobs. This groundbreaking report provides new insights into the phenomenon of offshoring. First, the report defines offshoring in detail, allowing readers to see the many ways that industrial activity—both in manufacturing and in services—can be transferred abroad. The report then describes the wide-ranging effects that offshoring can have on domestic employment—the positive, as well as the negative. Finally, this ground-breaking report outlines the public policy implications of offshoring. It suggests ways to limit the downside of offshoring while helping to build trust between the various stakeholders working to address this issue.

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Problems of measurement

This chapter explains the difficulties encountered in quantifying the impact of offshoring on employment, and why there are no direct measurements. Numerous indicators are presented that can be used to indirectly measure the impact on employment, as well as alternative approaches used in the past and their primary limitations.

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